The example on the left is a dated resume that looks like it was created over a decade ago. The one on the right is more modern and fresh looking. Here are 8 quick and easy updates you too can make now. They will have your resume looking more recent and grab the attention of your future employer.
- Title – Your name, address (not always necessary), phone number and email should be larger font and can be listed on one line, with separators. It makes the overall resume look cleaner. Add LinkedIn and website addresses to show your online presence, but make sure the information is consistent.
- Summary – Instead of stating the obvious position you are applying for in a Career Objective, try adding a Summary instead. The summary is a brief but detailed description of the main contributions you can provide your new employer if hired for the role. Limit this section to 5 sentences.
- Qualifications (or Highlights) – This is a larger list of functions and skills you excel at and should be bullet-pointed. This allows databases to scan key words, and recruiters know immediately what percentage of required skills you possess. It can be in list format or sentences, but keep it concise.
- Education – Unless you are a recent grad, it should go at the bottom of your resume.
- Work Experience – This section needs to be bullet-pointed as well. It should include the main tasks you did on the job, and the tangible outcomes they had. Only put work that is relevant to the targeted job, and it should elaborate on the qualifications section. This should not be a summary of everything you have ever done. You should only go back to positions you’ve held in the past 15 years, or 20 if a more executive title.
- Professional Affiliations, Publications, Volunteer Work, Certifications, etc. – Any of these sections can show variety and commitment, but again should be added only if relevant.
- References and Unrelated Activities – Keep these out, they are not necessary and can be provided if asked.
- Aesthetics – You can add a little color and perhaps a simple line graphic (not too distracting) to make your resume stand out a bit. Positions you’ve held should be left-justified, while dates should be right-justified. It is easier for the eye to find what it is looking for that way. Limit resume to two pages.